One of the issues regarding maternal and child health care nowadays is about working mothers, and the effects of their work related activities to their pregnancy. In a research conducted by Hatch, et al, it was found out that long hours of work reduced fetal growth, wherein the “infants of women working long hours late in pregnancy showed decreases in gestation-adjusted birth weight of about 80 grams, compared with women working 20 hours or less” (Hatch, Ji, Shu, & Susser, 1997). It was found that long weeks of physically demanding work could really result to growth reductions of the fetus, and this could have clinical importance.
It is not only the job tasks that a pregnant worker have, but also the hours she stays working, that affects her pregnancy. In a public health perspective, it is best to advise pregnant workers to reduce not only the load of their work, but also to reduce their working hours. This could be done through information campaigns in workplaces, especially those frequented by women. Companies and employers should also be properly informed, and this could be done by educating them through campaigns as well. This is avoiding the significant growth reduction of the fetus while their mothers are spending more hours at work.
Responses to other student’s discussion: In the discussion regarding alcohol consumption of pregnant women, I would like to first emphasize on the thought, “too much of something can really be bad. ” In this case, it is not only the mother who is affected, but also the new life she’s carrying with her. We know that whatever substance the mother takes, the baby would also have a dose of that. Nowadays, it is not only alcohol that could be harmful to the baby. We have a lot of illicit substances including drugs that greatly affect not only the woman but also the baby.
Smoking could also have adverse effects on the baby, resulting to weak lungs, and other complications. What I’m saying is whatever substance the mother uses or abuses, the baby will surely be affected. I agree with you that community education would really help in this predicament. Mothers, as well as the mothers’ relatives would be informed, and they could oversee whatever substance that expecting mother would be taking. I would like to add community initiatives like counseling for alcoholics which are pregnant, or refusing the sale of alcoholic beverages to pregnant women.
Regarding the topic of In-Vitro Fertilization, I would say first, that it is really an astounding technology to help those who have difficulty in having a baby to get one. For me, to undergo such process is both risky and rewarding, though most parents know these things when they choose to do so. It is their choice, and we really can’t do much about that. Your suggestion of limiting the transfer of fertilized eggs to one at a time could really be consuming, and more often than not, unsuccessful.
Remember, the number of eggs is increased to improve the chance of success, though it would also mean a chance of having more babies. Again, this is a choice for those who undergo such procedure, and until now, we don’t have that much influence on them, especially for those who are desperate for a baby. Reference: Hatch, M. , Ji, B. -T. , Shu, X. O. , & Susser, M. (1997). Do Standing, Lifting, Climbing, or Long Hours of Work during Pregnancy Have an Effect on Fetal Growth? Epidemiology, Vol. 8(No. 5).